The history of organic gardening isn’t as recent as some may think. Organic agriculture can be dated back to thousands of years when we used to till our own soil, plant our own crops and then harvest them ourselves.
When the demand for produce increased we began using chemical herbicides, insecticides, synthetic herbicides and fertilizers on crops to keep up. This style of industrial agriculture was adapted by most countries around the world by the 1950’s.
Cultivating crops industrially was highly efficient, yet as many people have come to realize, by eating the produce grown this way they were also consuming the chemicals themselves.
The Department of Agriculture in the U.S. began giving farmers incentives to return to the principles of organic gardening in the 1980’s. There was a renewed interest in this approach and as the demand for organic products grew, more countries began returning to this way of gardening.
A 22 year study, released in 2005, showed the effectiveness of organic gardening. The same amount of soybean and corn yields was produced using organic gardening methods that were accomplished using industrial methods. So there is no loss in yield production and a big gain when employing organic gardening methods. The gains are: less energy used, no chemical residue on the produce, better looking and better tasting food. Pretty big gains, don’t you think?
The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements now regulates the methods of growing crops organically. Their purpose is to encourage the sustainable development of land so that it will still be here for our children and our children’s children. A noble goal to be sure!
The great thing about gardening organically is that not just farmers have the ability to garden this way, we do too! We can set up a garden in our own backyard and reap the benefits of what we sow. We will get to eat superior looking and tasting foods that we have grown with our own hands. How great is that!
The history of organic gardening is not new and it seems that we are coming full circle. We are beginning to realize the importance of eating foods not laden with pesticides for our own health. We are also becoming more educated on the damage industrial agriculture practices have on the earth itself. If we are to be able to continue to have sustainable soil for future generations then we must learn from our mistakes and return to the basics.